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Weather delays line extensions

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The Vandalia City Council met for only about 15 minutes on Monday, and much of what was discussed was, of course, about the weather.
One of the few decisions made by the council was to give a contractor two more weeks to complete the extensions of water and sewer lines in the city’s west Interstate 70 interchange.
In requesting the additional time, Tri-S Excavating of Odin informed the project engineer, John H. Crawford and Associates, in writing that, “Due to the below-average temperature and the above-normal snowfall in January and February, construction … has not progressed like we had expected.”
Travis Sanders of Tri-S Excavating said that while it was requesting an extension, “we know how important it is to finish the project in a timely manner.”
In presenting the request to the council, Mayor Rick Gottman said the delay will not cause any problems for South Central FS as its works toward the completion of its $5-million facility in the west interchange.
That’s because the weather has also slowed that project, Gottman said.
Prior to granting the extension request, the council OK’d the first pay request from Tri-S Excavating for the infrastructure extension project.
The pay request totaled $57,209.26, and it shows that the project is a little more than a third of the way toward completion.
This winter’s weather was also discussed as several city officials passed along praise to the city’s public works department.
Gottman and Alderman Russ Stunkel were among those reported receiving compliments to the city workers for keeping city streets clear during winter storms.
The mayor reported that an indication of the hours put in by the public works department is the amount of money that has been spent on overtime. The overtime total this winter for more than a dozen winter storms is about $10,000, compared to $3,000 last year, Gottman said.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the council observed a moment of silence for Charles Kaiser, the husband of former city employee Judy Kaiser, and Ron Dolly, a former Vandalia businessman.